In an effort to encourage more interdisciplinary projects across the university, the fellows and professors involved in the program were brought together for a special interdisciplinary meeting where the participants of the program and representatives from different departments met one another and shared about their research.

So far there has been little interaction between the participants of the program, so this new initiative allows the international experts to meet one another, exchange ideas and find common ground in an informal setting.

At some point we realized that our fellows and professors are often not familiar with other university divisions, and mostly communicate with the staff at their host department. So we decided to create a possibility for interdisciplinary exchange for all participants of the ITMO Fellowship and Professorship Program, and let them meet other researchers and lecturers, and also students. I believe that our first meeting attained its aim, as the participants did not run out of the room right after the official part was over, but were talking over a slice of pizza for another hour or so,” says Daria Zhukova, the coordinator of ITMO’s Fellowship and Professorship Program.

The meeting will be held on the second Tuesday of each month. At the first meeting which was held in September, three of the program’s participants presented some of their research: Mikhail Portnoi, from the University of Exeter in the UK, Tatiana Itina from the University of Lyon in France, and Pavlos Savvidis from the University of Crete in Greece. They are all here as research professors.

Professor Itina talked about the applications of laser nano- and micro-structuring.  For example, ultra-short laser structuring of optical materials allows for opportunities to create optical data storage, security marking, and also has applications in biomedicine, for example in the analysis of DNA, and in nanofluidics. Microstructuring, she explained, can be used for sensors in medicine.

At ITMO’s Laboratory of light-matter coupling in nanostructures, Professor Portnoi is doing research into zero-energy vortices in two-dimensional Dirac semimetals such as graphene. He showed an example of graphene-like structures and other similar semimetals and also made reference to the study of graphene on the TV show “The Big Bang Theory”.

Professor Pavlos Savvidis, who is working at ITMO’s international laboratory “Laser micro- and nanotechnologies,” talked about “Polariton condensate lattices: A novel quantum simulator platform”. 

Also present at the meeting were Mikhail Titov from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Vasily Kravtsov from the University of Colorado in Boulder, who are both at ITMO’s laboratory of light-matter coupling in nanostructures. Gerhard Wohlgenannt from Vienna University of Economics and Business is currently a fellow at ITMO’s faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems.

The professors and fellows expressed their gratitude towards the organizers of the program for their expert assistance and hope to find opportunities to work together on future projects.

Please note that applications are now open until October 21 for participation in ITMO’s Fellowship and Professorship program, applications are accepted on the program’s official website.